It’s a massacre, so to speak, at Meta–Facebook. The company is laying off 11,000 people around the world, or 13% of its worldwide workforce. And these cuts will affect Meta’s Israel operations as well, where the company employs 1000 people in research and development as well as sales and marketing.
Mark Zuckerberg explained the move to his employees in a letter. “Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”
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“I want to take accountability for these decisions,” added the Meta owner, “and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted. This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that. To those who are leaving, I want to thank you again for everything you’ve put into this place.”
Well, the move seems to have worked. Shares of Meta closed up more than 5% for the day at the end of trading on Wednesday. This after the company’s stock had lost more than 30% of its value in the previous year.
The reasons for Meta’s problems are certainly related to the worldwide financial crisis that was sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March. This led to disruptions in the worldwide supply chains and spikes in the price of oil. And the uncertainty it caused among investors led to crashes in markets the world over.
But for Meta-Facebook there was a bigger problem. Many point to Mark Zuckerberg’s plans for a new Metaverse. People still aren’t sure what that is and in preparation for it the company added thousands of jobs in recent times. This at a time when even some of the most established companies were laying off workers.
Mark Zuckerberg did not rule out more layoffs in the near future. He said that Meta-Facebook will either be just the same size in number of employees as it is now or smaller by the end of 2023.